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Cosmetology Is An Actual Career & Not Just For Dropouts

Cosmetology Is An Actual Career & Not Just For Dropouts

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had a love for beauty. I was the one that everyone wanted to do their nails, hair and makeup throughout my teenage years.

When the word got out that I made the decision to enroll in Cosmetology school, the opinions from my mentors started to hit me one after another. Teachers and other people I respected, tried to “talk some sense” into me. Just some of the statements made to me, were: Why would you “waste” yourself? You’re “too smart” for that, aren’t you? You know you’ll NEVER make any money, right? Some would even start singing “Beauty School Dropout”, yes I’m 100% serious!

This was back in 1994, and when I think back to that time, that was before we had the power of on-line education. Living in a small town in Wisconsin, there weren’t as many opportunities to learn. I also don’t feel as though “Beauty” was as mainstream as it is now. It was a time when a four year college was pushed heavily.

But even 25 years later, it doesn’t seem like the stigma has changed much. Over the years I have had the privilege to mentor many and it’s the same story. So many try to talk them out of pursuing a cosmetology career. But why?

Leigh Raeder Cosmetology Career

The Market is Growing

According to a report, global spas and beauty salons market was valued at around USD 128.59 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach approximately USD 190.81 billion in 2024, growing at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of slightly above 5.80% between 2018 and 2024.

The future for cosmetologists is looking very bright indeed, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The demand for cosmetologists is expected to grow by 16% between 2018 and 2028. This growth is expected to be the result of an increasing population, which will in turn lead to greater demand for the services of cosmetologists. The demand for hair coloring and other specialized hair services has increased in recent years, particularly among baby boomers trying to maintain a youthful appearance and young people seeking to be remain fashionable. This trend will no doubt continue, leading to a favorable job outlook for cosmetologists.

Not to mention almost EVERY SINGLE colleague that I have is currently looking to fill positions in their busienss!

Cosmetology Degrees Declining

But acccording to Data USA the total Cosmetology degrees awarded in 2016 declined about 18%.

The possibilities are endless! Cosmetology is a practice that covers several different areas within the realm of beautification. Cosmetologists work with clients to make changes and improvements to their hair, skin, and nails.

Career Opportunities

There are so many opportunities with in this cosmetology career!

Hair Specialty:

  • Hair Designer
  • Haircolor Specialists
  • Platform Artist
  • Manufacturer Educator
  • Chain Salon Trainer
  • Theatrical Stylist
  • Retail Specialist
  • State Board Member
  • State Board Examiner
  • Salon Manager
  • Salon Owner
  • Artistic Director
  • Authoring Project

Skin Specialty:

  • Skin Care Specialist
  • Day Spa Practitioner
  • Dermatologist Clinic
  • Advisor
  • Makeup Artist
  • Theatrical Makeup
  • Retail Specialist
  • Makeup Artist for Department Stores
  • Cosmetic Chemist
  • Authoring Projects

Nail Care Specialty:

  • Manicurist
  • Pedicurist
  • Podiatrist Advisory
  • Nail Enhancement
  • Specialist
  • Authoring Projects

Education Specialty:

  • Cosmetology School
  • Instructor
  • Specialty School
  • Instructor
  • School Director
  • School Owner
  • Authoring Projects

Recession Proof

So if a cosmetology career is something you long for, you might be moving in the right direction. Cosmetology could be one of the few recession-proof careers; after all, things would have to get pretty bad for most people to prompt taking haircuts out of their budgets. In fact, as stress and anxiety about the economy rise, so does business at salons and spas, where clients can find relaxation and relief in the midst of the turmoil.

Leigh Raeder Makeup Artist
Photo by Brenda Kay Photography

An Evolving Industry

There are definitely a lot of shifts happening with in the beauty industry. Being around and growing up right in the mix of it, I have learned how to move with the trends and leverage these shifts.

I started my cosmetology career before flat irons, YouTube, and even the internet!  I have been an employee, helped open a world renowned spa, started & owned my own salon, and have been given awards.  I have been trained by some of the biggest brands, like Aveda, Bumble & Bumble, TIGI, Schwarzkopf, Sebastian, Trucco, Pivot Point, Pevonia Botanica, Phytoceane, Jane Iredale, Paul Mitchell & so many more!  I am a colorist, nail technician, aesthetician, you name it, I can do it.  I am a trained reflexologist, a certified hair extensionist, a National Trainer for Motives Cosmetics, Certified Salon and a nutraMetrix Nutraceuticals Consultant and business developer.

And the beauty is, I’m still learning!! There are always new techniques and services to learn, so I definitely don’t get bored!

The US Needs More Tradespeople

After decades of pushing bachelor’s degrees, U.S. needs more tradespeople. America is facing an unprecedented skilled labor shortage. According to Forbes Magazine the Department of Labor, the US economy had 7.6 million unfilled jobs, but only 6.5 million people were looking for work as of January 2019 and it is more apparent than ever that our country is suffering because of it. 

Recognizing high tuition costs, long term student loan debt, and difficulties finding a job in the field of their college major should be motivating young men and women to look at better paying alternatives from the onset. Many are already skilled at working with their hands, and prefer jobs where they can move around rather than sitting at a desk all day. High school career counselors would be doing students a big favor by informing them about the benefits of getting into technical trades. Parents who best understand their son or daughter’s interests may also do well to encourage career options aside from immediately attending college. It’s time we reduce the stigma around technical training. Skilled labor is not a fallback position, but a genuine positive career choice. 

A Cosmetology Career Can Be Lucrative

Just like anything, it will take hard work and time to grow your skills and build a clientele. But it’s worth it!

From the time I graduated beauty school, I worked full time in a salon and was able to cover all of my bills with my income. I never worked a second job. I put all of my energy into my career. And now there are so many more resources out there to help you do this! I became a 6 figure stylist, so don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done!!

Rewarding career? Yes. Hard work? Yes. Good pay? Yes. Long term opportunity? Absolutely. Sounds like the American dream to me.




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